DANCING IN THE STREETS A HISTORY OF COLLECTIVE JOY

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Dancing In The Streets

Author : Barbara Ehrenreich
ISBN : 1429904658
Genre : History
File Size : 69.71 MB
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From the bestselling social commentator and cultural historian, a fascinating exploration of one of humanity's oldest traditions: the celebration of communal joy In the acclaimed Blood Rites, Barbara Ehrenreich delved into the origins of our species' attraction to war. Here, she explores the opposite impulse, one that has been so effectively suppressed that we lack even a term for it: the desire for collective joy, historically expressed in ecstatic revels of feasting, costuming, and dancing. Ehrenreich uncovers the origins of communal celebration in human biology and culture. Although sixteenth-century Europeans viewed mass festivities as foreign and "savage," Ehrenreich shows that they were indigenous to the West, from the ancient Greeks' worship of Dionysus to the medieval practice of Christianity as a "danced religion." Ultimately, church officials drove the festivities into the streets, the prelude to widespread reformation: Protestants criminalized carnival, Wahhabist Muslims battled ecstatic Sufism, European colonizers wiped out native dance rites. The elites' fear that such gatherings would undermine social hierarchies was justified: the festive tradition inspired French revolutionary crowds and uprisings from the Caribbean to the American plains. Yet outbreaks of group revelry persist, as Ehrenreich shows, pointing to the 1960s rock-and-roll rebellion and the more recent "carnivalization" of sports. Original, exhilarating, and deeply optimistic, Dancing in the Streets concludes that we are innately social beings, impelled to share our joy and therefore able to envision, even create, a more peaceable future.
Category: History

Dancing In The Streets

Author : Barbara Ehrenreich
ISBN : 0805057242
Genre : History
File Size : 39.37 MB
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The author of the critically acclaimed Blood Rites examines the human impulse toward collective joy, historically expressed in communal celebrations, reflecting the human nature as social beings and involving ecstatic revelries of feasting, costuming, and dancing, from the ancient Greeks worship of Dionysus to the more recent carnivalization of sports. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.
Category: History

Dancing In The Streets

Author : Barbara Ehrenreich
ISBN : 0805057234
Genre : History
File Size : 46.83 MB
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The author of the critically acclaimed Blood Rites examines the human impulse toward collective joy, historically expressed in communal celebrations, reflecting the human nature as social beings, involving ecstatic revelries of feasting, costuming, and dancing, from the ancient Greeks' worship of Dionysus to the more recent “carnivalization” of sports. 60,000 first printing.
Category: History

Blood Rites

Author : Barbara Ehrenreich
ISBN : 0805057870
Genre : History
File Size : 22.72 MB
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A study of the human attraction to violence and war ranges from the human sacrifices of the ancient world to the Holocaust, tracing the impulse to slaughter to the blood rites enacted by the earliest human hunters. Reprint. 17,500 first printing.
Category: History

Keeping Together In Time

Author : William Hardy MCNEILL
ISBN : 9780674040878
Genre : History
File Size : 48.38 MB
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Could something as simple and seemingly natural as falling into step have marked us for evolutionary success? In Keeping Together in Time one of the most widely read and respected historians in America pursues the possibility that coordinated rhythmic movement--and the shared feelings it evokes--has been a powerful force in holding human groups together. As he has done for historical phenomena as diverse as warfare, plague, and the pursuit of power, William McNeill brings a dazzling breadth and depth of knowledge to his study of dance and drill in human history. From the records of distant and ancient peoples to the latest findings of the life sciences, he discovers evidence that rhythmic movement has played a profound role in creating and sustaining human communities. The behavior of chimpanzees, festival village dances, the close-order drill of early modern Europe, the ecstatic dance-trances of shamans and dervishes, the goose-stepping Nazi formations, the morning exercises of factory workers in Japan--all these and many more figure in the bold picture McNeill draws. A sense of community is the key, and shared movement, whether dance or military drill, is its mainspring. McNeill focuses on the visceral and emotional sensations such movement arouses, particularly the euphoric fellow-feeling he calls "muscular bonding." These sensations, he suggests, endow groups with a capacity for cooperation, which in turn improves their chance of survival. A tour de force of imagination and scholarship, Keeping Together in Time reveals the muscular, rhythmic dimension of human solidarity. Its lessons will serve us well as we contemplate the future of the human community and of our various local communities. Table of Contents: Muscular Bonding Human Evolution Small Communities Religious Ceremonies Politics and War Conclusion Notes Index Reviews of this book: "In his imaginative and provocative book...William H. McNeill develops an unconventional notion that, he observes, is 'simplicity itself.' He maintains that people who move together to the same beat tend to bond and thus that communal dance and drill alter human feelings." DD--John Mueller, New York Times Book Review "Every now and then, a slender, graceful, unassuming little volume modestly proposes a radical rethinking of human history. Such a book is Keeping Together in Time...Important, witty, and thoroughly approachable, [it] could, perhaps, only be written by a scholar in retirement with a lifetime's interdisciplinary reading to ponder, the imagination to conceive unanswerable questions, and the courage, in this age of over-speculation, to speculate in areas where certainty is impossible. Its vision of dance as a shaper of evolution, a perpetually sustainable and sustaining resource, would crown anyone's career." DD--Penelope Reed Doob, Toronto Globe and Mail "McNeill is one of our greatest living historians...As usual with McNeill, Keeping Together in Time contains a wonderfully broad survey of practices in other times and places. There are the Greeks, who invented the flute-accompanied phalanx, and the Romans, who invented calling cadence while marching. There are the Shakers, who combined worship and dancing, and the Mormons, who carefully separated the functions but who prospered at least as much on the strength of their dancing as their Sunday morning worship." DD--David Warsh, Boston Sunday Globe "[A] wide-ranging and thought-provoking book...A mind-stretching exploration of the thesis that `keeping together in time'--army drill, village dances, and the like--consolidates group solidarity by making us feel good about ourselves and the group and thus was critical for social cohesion and group survival in the past." DD--Virginia Quarterly Review "[This book is] nothing less than a survey of the historical impact of shared rhythmic motion from the paleolithic to the present, an impact that [McNeill] finds surprisingly significant...McNeill moves beyond Durkheim in noting that in complex societies divided by social class muscular bonding may be the medium through which discontented and oppressed groups can gain the solidarity necessary for challenging the existing social order." DD--Robert N. Bellah, Commonweal "The title of this fascinating essay contains a pun that sums up its thesis" keeping together in time, or coordinated rhythmic movement and the shared feelings it evokes, has kept human groups together throughout history. Most of McNeill's pioneering study is devoted to the history of communal dancing...[This] volume will appeal equally to scholars and to the general reader." DD--Doyne Dawson, Military History "As with so many themes [like this one], whether in science or in symphonies, one wonders (in retrospect) why it has not been invented before...[T]he book is fascinating." DD--K. Kortmulder, Acta Biotheoretica (The Netherlands) "This scholarly and creative exploration of the largely unresearched phenomenon of shared euphoria aroused by unison movement moves across the disciplines of dance, history, sociology, and psychology...Highly recommended." DD--Choice
Category: History

A Playful Path

Author : Bernard De Koven
ISBN : 9781304351821
Genre : Education
File Size : 86.34 MB
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A Playful Path, the new book by games guru and fun theorist Bernard De Koven, serves as a collection of ideas and tools to help us bring our playfulness back into the open. When we find ourselves forgetting the life of the game or the game of life, the joy of form or the content, the play of brain or mind, body or spirit, this book can help us return to that which our soul is heir.
Category: Education

Bright Sided

Author : Barbara Ehrenreich
ISBN : 9780805087499
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 90.62 MB
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Exposes the downside of America's penchant for positive thinking, which the author believes leads to self-blame and a preoccupation with stamping out "negative" thoughts on a personal level, and, on a national level, has brought on economic disaster.
Category: Psychology

Nickel And Dimed

Author : Barbara Ehrenreich
ISBN : 1429926643
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 55.73 MB
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Our sharpest and most original social critic goes "undercover" as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity. Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job -- any job -- can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you int to live indoors. Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich's perspective and for a rare view of how "prosperity" looks from the bottom. You will never see anything -- from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal -- in quite the same way again.
Category: Social Science

Living With A Wild God

Author : Barbara Ehrenreich
ISBN : 9781455501755
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 48.98 MB
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed comes a brave, frank, and exquisitely written memoir that will change the way you see the world. Barbara Ehrenreich is one of the most important thinkers of our time. Educated as a scientist, she is an author, journalist, activist, and advocate for social justice. In LIVING WITH A WILD GOD, she recounts her quest-beginning in childhood-to find "the Truth" about the universe and everything else: What's really going on? Why are we here? In middle age, she rediscovered the journal she had kept during her tumultuous adolescence, which records an event so strange, so cataclysmic, that she had never, in all the intervening years, written or spoken about it to anyone. It was the kind of event that people call a "mystical experience"-and, to a steadfast atheist and rationalist, nothing less than shattering. In LIVING WITH A WILD GOD, Ehrenreich reconstructs her childhood mission, bringing an older woman's wry and erudite perspective to a young girl's impassioned obsession with the questions that, at one point or another, torment us all. The result is both deeply personal and cosmically sweeping-a searing memoir and a profound reflection on science, religion, and the human condition. With her signature combination of intellectual rigor and uninhibited imagination, Ehrenreich offers a true literary achievement-a work that has the power not only to entertain but amaze.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Dancing Goddesses Folklore Archaeology And The Origins Of European Dance

Author : Elizabeth Wayland Barber
ISBN : 9780393089219
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 69.19 MB
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A fascinating exploration of an ancient system of beliefs and its links to the evolution of dance. From southern Greece to northern Russia, people have long believed in female spirits, bringers of fertility, who spend their nights and days dancing in the fields and forests. So appealing were these spirit-maidens that they also took up residence in nineteenth-century Romantic literature. Archaeologist and linguist by profession, folk dancer by avocation, Elizabeth Wayland Barber has sleuthed through ethnographic lore and archaeological reports of east and southeast Europe, translating enchanting folktales about these “dancing goddesses” as well as eyewitness accounts of traditional rituals—texts that offer new perspectives on dance in agrarian society. She then traces these goddesses and their dances back through the Romans and Greeks to the first farmers of Europe. Along the way, she locates the origins of many customs, including coloring Easter eggs and throwing rice at the bride. The result is a detective story like no other and a joyful reminder of the human need to dance.
Category: Social Science